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Chapter TVro

Hie Phenomenal is tic Interpretation in the light of the


Tiie Pheromenali^ti c Interpretation in the
Ligfeit pi.the.fcito&a*.
In the previous chapter we have traced out,with
special reference to Ka1havatthu,,the phenomenal istic inter-
pretation of the dhawia theory as established by the earlier
form of Theravadaand developed by Sunyavgda.
Here we propose to examine ag to how far this inter­
pretation is true to the Nikayas themselves which record the
direct teaching of the Buddha*
Before coming to &ks dea|with the subject matter
under discussion it i©^necessary to have a clear conception of

what we exactly mean by dhammas here.

As already pointed out above dhamma has been
used as a surest!ve term for Hibbaha.With this single except­
ion, the term,as a rule,has been used for phenomena alone.,
numerous instances may be cited in support of the sams,
Samkhata or the conditioned is the most signifi­
cant tern used for dhammas or phenomena as against Mbbsna,
the unconditioned (asamkhata) , So sankhara has bean used
as a synonym for dhamma.As a case in point may be Rioted
the well-known triple stanzas which describe the three
characteristics of the conditioned things.^ In the third

stanza referred to here (term mean all the conditioned things

as borne out by the first and the second stanzas.How Mbbgna
is the unconditioned.As such its inclusion among dhamroas is
out o^question.
1; Vide-page 25 : ' ’
2. SJ3.ll, P.26; Ibid .llltP.56;It., PP.37,88
3; A.M.l, P .152;S.N.I?,P,
4. sabbe_samkhara anicca0sabbe sahikhara dukkha,sabbe dhamma
anatta, liiammapada, Hagg^vaggga, 5,6,7.

If so here the question may he raised,why is Nibbiha

■ ■ I
included among dhrnaas in iffilapaziyaya suita?
1 g
\7e have already referred to this apparent inconsistency.
There the Buddha does not give his own view.On the contrary
he is analysing the attitude of the tan enlightened who are
given to a realistic view of things * They,under the influence
of ignoranee*take things existing as such and make all
kinds of determinations and establish all kinds of relations
w i-ti.
with reference to the same.They hold the same view the regard
" to Hibbaha also ,3y mentioning dbamma in this context the
Buddha has only pointed, out a pop/ulr fallacy.
This point may further ho made clear with reference toi
the discussion between Channa and certain other Theras where
the former says that in spite of understanding the nature of
all the conditioned things he has not been able to direct
his mind towards Hibbaha. Here Mbbaha 1ms been stated sepa­
rately as distinct f 1*012 all dhamaas.Thus Bibbana is in no
way related to the dhainma theory as such.
We hhtfe seen above that dhami&e3 mean sankharas.Now
what do sankaharas mean ? I7e find an answer to this in Vaji
-ra*s explanation^ where she says that the so called being

is nothing but a bundle of 3ahkhlras which she further points

out as the khandhas* So by way of an equation we conclude
that dhammas are the khandhas themselves. This again may be
proved with reference to the suitas.

1; S-No.l
2i Vide-page 24
S. S.K.111,P.132.
4. P*154
In Parihreyya siittoA in the list of the dkanmas to
•be known only the five khandhas have been included, lb on asair*
in Ananda suita khandhas alone have been referred to aa
dhaeauas* In expressions like Unattached to all dhanmaa* ,
’one comes to the end. of all dhaffiaas*^, tbs teasa has been
used. in the same sense, Thus in the Mkayas dhantnas.aa a
mfl.e,haa been used for sankharas and for that matter khan-
dhafulo fact jit may be said that iiWis been used as a genera*
term for all that constitute the phenomenal existence.
The author of Kathavatthu does not format to make use of the
term in ibis original cense. In the present discussion we
use the teira in this sense only.

1. S.K.111, p.36
2. S.N.HijP.33
3. 113.1, P.171; Ihammapada^St3o.353
4. £3*1, P.162; Sn.t S3o.l2
5. Five khandhas ? eighteen dhatus, twelve ayatanaa and
twenty two Indriyae are generally introduced by this*
* "

6* Fathavatthu,“14,
AsaMft.Tfr.ctrine nn<L thaJ^iddhist Schools.
inaita doctrine is among the fundamental
doctrines common to all the schools of Buddhism.^ So in one

form or the other every school propounds a kind of anatta

dctrine.In spite of this great family likeness there is
also a vast difference dividing all the existing schools
into two categories,namely, Pudgalanairatmyavada and Bharma-
nairatmyavada. According to the one,in the ultimate analy­
sis, there is no individual as such,but dhammas alone exist.
According to the other even the dhammas do not exist in the
ultimate sense .Sarvastivada end the allied schools^ may be

said to be the upholders of the first view whereas the seco­

nd is represented by Ifahayana schools- Vijnanavada and
So far as the earlier schools known under the
common category of Hihayana are concerned there is no ment­
ion of this difference and distinction .We come across-' it
only in the later schools of Mahayana.So we can safely
take it as a later development*

1. Even the Pudgalavadins do not support the existence

of a permanent entity like soul .While their pudgaia is not
identical with the knandhas it also, does not exist apart
from them .So it isjieither samskrxta like skandhas nor
asmsk^ita like Nirvana* It is evident from the nature of
arguments put forward % them that it in, a kind of provi­
sional arrangement,in accordance with^the literal Inter­
pretation of certain passages in the N-fkay&s,to account
for memoryjrebirth,retribut!on and other relevant points
of discussion.Kathavatthu, Vo .1, Chapter i; Abhidhamakoga
Chapter ix; The Central Conception of Buddhism, P.25;Soul
Theory of the Buddhists, P.70*
2. Here the earlier fora of Theravada is excluded as it
did not subscribe to this view.
Here it would be useful to consider as to what extent
the earlier schools were responsible for this new development.
In the first chapter it has been already pointed out that
Sarvastivadins accepted the categories of the dhanana theory
as ultimately real. This realistic interpretation of
the dhammas indicated and defined their conception of the
anatta doctrine. In other words, anatta doctrine came to
mean the denial of ago or soul substance.This tan tamo un ted
to the denial of an individuality or a personality as such.That
is to say,in an indirect way,the realistic interpretation of
S&rvaBtivada and the allied schools came to establish what
is called Pudgalanairatmya.

Now the Hahayahists detected that the realistic inter­

pretation was not in full agreement with the anatta doctrine
of the Buddha. They interpreted the whole thing in a/rew
light and came to the conclusion that the dhammas, including
the so-called realities of the Sarvastivadins, are all phenomenal.
In accordance with this conclusion they called their own view
dhaimanairahnya as distinguished that of the earlier schools
led by Sarvastivada which they called pudgal anai ratmya.^*
It would be interesting to note here how all these
schools joined in refuting and denouncing the pudgalavada
as held by Yatsiputriyas and Samnitiyas.^ This was the

» *

1. MSdhyamikas call them Pudgal asunyata and dharmasunyata.

2. MKY. (P. ),FP.275,276,283; BCAP ix,P;60;M(P.)ix,P.163
Kathavatthu 1, Chapter on pu^ala.
common ground on which they agreed. But then the ultimate
nature of the dhammas formed the dividing line between them.
So here the Mahayaha schools joined hands against the realistic
schools. „
They argued that there is neither a subject
as denoted by *1* (ahamkara) nor an object as denoted by
*mineT (mamamkara) .That is to say there is neither an ego
as such (pudgalanai ratmya) nor a thing as such (dharmanaira-
tmya)l. Sarvastivadins apparently accepted the first proposi­
tion only -without taking note of the implications of the
second. As a result they ended with pudgal^anairatmya only.
-The Mahapnists establish dharmanai ratmyavada
not only on certain logical grounds but also with reference
to the spiritual attainments. According to them Pudgalanai-
ratmya can help one to get rid of mental defilements (klesa-
varana) only whereas dhaimanairatmya helps one to dispel
the darkenss of ignorance obstructing the realisation of
_ o
the reality (jneyavarana) . This should be understood with
reference to the Bodhis&tva doctrine as prepounded in
Mahayana. According to it there are ten

1. Lankavajltara Sutra, PP.51, 68,69 , 70

SQtralankara, PP.94,154,160
Vijhaptimgtratasiddhi, P .15
2 .BC AP. ix,P. 55; Trimsika^P .44
' 3. The doctrine has been elaborately dealtjdth in Basahhu-
\ mika sutra, Prajhapaparamitas,Bodhicaiyavatara and such •
\ other books. Also refer to Bodhistava Doctrine- Har Dayal.
stage! which a Eodhii^tava has to pass through before the

attainment of Sammasambodhi or the full enlightenment. By

the realization of pudgalanairatmya a Bodhistam is
supposed to attain upto the sixth stage. Other stages
culminating with the tenth can be reached only with the
realization of dharmanairatmya .Thus the ideal of Hinayana
based as it is on pudgalanairatmya falls far short of full
enlightenment. It is a kind of half way house and as such
it can carry one only some distance on the path to the final
goal of Nibbana. Thus Bodhicaryavatara says that without the
realization of 4unyata(dharmanairatmya)there may be salvatioi
but it is not permanent. gutralankara speaks to the same
effect.^ Kasyapaparivarta means the same thing when it com­

pares pudgalanairatmya to a hole made by a termite and

dharmanairatmya to the infinite space.®

Pramudita, fimala, Prabhakari, Arci small, Sudurjaya,

AbhimukhI, Durangama^ Acala, Sadhumatl, Dharmamegha.
2. Bor a comparative study of the spirtitual stages in re­
lation to pudgalanairatmya and dharmanairatmya,see Aspects
of Mahayana Buddhism and its relation to Hinayana,Chapter
iv, Dr.N.Dutt.
3. Bodhicaryavatara, P.443
4.SutraLankara, PP.140,169,170
5* Kasyapaparivarta,P.114; Pancavirasati,PP.77,78.

So far we have reviwed the relative positions of

-e.t *

Hinayaha and Mahayana with reference to the g^atta. doctrine.

Now let us see as to what extent the two interpretations
agree with the doctrine as enunciated in the Nikayas.
•teMa,jXLQtetea Jto.
Writers on Buddhism often translate the wor*atta
, , A

as soul or ego as conveying the sense of a living entity.

In the Nikayas such terms as Satta, Jiva, Purusa, Puggala
and Paha have been used in this aense*But then the conno­
tation of atta is wider than that of all these terms.The
term ego and its synonyms can but state half the truth of
the anat&a doctrine and the other half is entirely left
upsaid by thorn. That is to say it takes into consideration
only the psychological part of the case and leaves out the.
ontological part of it. On the other hand the term atta
covers both the aspects. So the mistake is committed by
looking at the problem in a psychological perspective leaving
the ontological aspect out of the picture.This point
can be made clear with reference to the term svabhava^
which has an identical connotation as atta.Svabhava generally
means nature.In the present context it has the specific
sense of a thing existing in itself.For the same reason
Chndrakirti defines svahhava as that which has got an

1. This expression is often used in Mahayana texts and

seldom in the Hinayana texts.
an independent nature of its own.^ '3iU3 svabhava for

that matter atta means that which possesses an inalienable

nature or a is evident from this that atta
means not only self-nature of a being as stch but also the
self-nature of a thing as such,not. only the unsubstantial
nature of beings but also the unsubstantial nature of things.,
That is to say atta has got both a psychological and ontolo-
gical meaning. Thus anatta doctrine maintains the unsubstar
-tial nature of all things.This may be illustrated with
reference to the Nikaya passages.
, In Upadanaparivattana sutta the Buddha says
’Hereinbrethren, the untau^it many folk,who discern not

these who are Ariyans,who are unskilled in the Ariyan doct­

rine, who discern not those who are worthy, who are unskill­
ed in the worthy doctrine,, untrained in the worthy doctrine-
these regard body as the self,the self as being in the bodyl
This statement is repeated in the case of the remaining
four aggregates also.
In this discourse the Buddha has set forth
the conception of self as held by the unenlightened people.
The first proposition in the above passage states the iden­
tification of self with the five aggregates and the'other
three propositions state the relation of self to the five
aggregates.In other words the first proposition explains
how the average man takes the five aggregates as self and
the rest explain how he takes egp as the self .Really
speaking the four
1. yaeyapadarthasya yadstmiyam rupam tattasya svabhava iti
vyapadiiyate, UK?.., P.99;Cf.fisuddhi Magga,II .P.509.
. * ■

2. Outlines of Mahayana,P .170.

3. S.N., III.PP.15-16
propositions can be reduced into two:0ne referring to the
self-nature of things and others to the self-nature of soul*
This means both the psychological and thejDntalogical
aspects .So when the Buddha speaks of atta he does so with
reference to both these aspects.
It may be mentioned here that all the Mah&jHna
schools in general and the Madhyamika school in particular
have brought out the full significance of the same.The Hina-
yana schools have taken a limited view of the matter and as
such they have not gone deep into it,
ittadrihi and Sakkaya Bitthi.

Sakkayadifthi is another term used in the Jfikayas

as a synonym for attaditthi.The etymology of the tern has a
special significance.Kaya literally means a body.It gives
the sense of something solid,tangible and as such efaduring.
For the average man that which is more tangible is more
real .Hence for him kaya means an entity and sa-kaya or
sakkaya means a self-entity.So while differing in its
etymology the term sakkaya means the same thirg as atta.
This may be shown with reference to punnama sutta^ where
the Buddha explains atta conception in terms of f, sakkaya.
Except for the tern sakkaya which has been used as a
synonym for atta the rest of the sutta is the same as
the previous one in letter and spirit. The-two typical
passages quoted above refer to both the psychologial
and tba ontological aspects of the anatta doctrine.
In these instances in question the psychological aspect
is so prominent -that the ontological aspect gets almost
eclipged.But then there are also passages which directly

I.S.N., 111* P.102.


refer to the ontological aspect.For instance in sakkaya

• *

sutta ■ the Buddha explains the five aggregates of attachment

as sakkayas.That is to say the average man of the world takes
the aggregates as real entities,things existing as such .But
really speaking they are all phenomenal in nature.
’I1 and ’Mine’
^ «■’'*» «* m- ab •» -m

There is another way of studying the subject,namely,

in terns of *1* (ahamkara) and ’mine* (mamamkara)2 or
3 '

self(atta) and that which belongs to self (attaniya) . One

term# stands for the subject and the other for the object.
These are two universal categories,so to say,under which
all other relations can be brought.As such they divide
between them the whole universe of discourse.This fact is
borne out by the discourses of the Buddha himself.
In flnusuya sutta3, Rahul a asks the Buddha as to how
the sense of *1’ and ‘mine1 can he put an end to. In answer
to him the Buddha says that it can be brought about by
realising the unsubstantial nature of all the five aggregates
whether of past,present or future.
It should be borne in mind here that according to
Buddhism the whole universe can be explained in ‘terns of
these five khandhas.
This point can be made clear with reference to the
6 _
Kassaka sutta where Mara claims the whole empirical existence
JUS* H.f 111, P.159
2; M.N.,111, PP.18,32;S*N., 11, p.253;A.N., 1, P*132
3; M.N., 1. P.138; S.N* 111, ?.77
4;, S.N., 11* p.252. ’ ‘
5 ikathara ahsftksra mamamkara mananusayana hdti. •
6.S.N.,! p.H4;cf.upManiya sutta.S .N.111,P.73.
as his domain and all proa toes as his subjects.His domain
is explained in terras of senses,sense objects and sensations.
In reply the Buddha says that whoever is able to get rid
of egoism as constituted by 'I* and ‘Kino’ can get out of
the donain of Mara.The-implicate on of .the Buddha* s reply
is that the empirical world is constituted by *1* and 'Mine*
and as such the key to the solution of the problem of 'the
empirical world lies in the right understanding of the nature
of both 'I* and ’line*.
Here we emphasise on the word both because no
solution is possible with reference to any one terra,This is
due to the fact that the two terras are interlinked and inter-

dependent and as such one is not available without the othGr.

So the solution can be made as a whole and' net partially.
This may further be mad© clear with reference to relevant
passages from texts. In course of a discourse to his disciplei
■fee master says that without atta there is no attaniya
and without attaniya there is no atta.-*- Now the empirical
problem based as it is wholly on both these terms cannot be
solved with reference to one of them only .The solution of
the problem,as already stated,lies in understanding the
real nature of what is indicated by *1* and ’Mine*.That is
to say egp and the tilings,both the internal world and the
external world.
This aspect of the matter has been made quite
clear by the Madhyamikas.Thus in explaining the real purpose
of the anatta doctrine CandrakTrti says that it is for
1. vuttaih bhagavata: attani m bhikkhave sati attaniyam meti
as.sati ,attaniyam va bhikkhave sati atta meti_jtssati (quotea
in KathavatthUjl, P.67) Cf.mametyaham iti kgirie bahifi}ha-
dhyatjnameva ca. nirudhyata upadanam tatkgaS j afifenmanafr
MK? , P.124 •
the realization of the fact that there is neither an ego
(atma)as denoted by tIt nor the things referring to^ego
(aimiyar as denoted by 'mine1 2?/hich
* 4 means the five aggrega­
tes.That is to say there does not exist either a self as
\ such (atma) or the things as auch(padarthas).7Ms Hagarjuna
summarises the whole position in one stanza when he says
that without the self things referring to the self are also
not available.When the ego sense of 'I* is gone therewith
the sense of 'mine1 also disappears.^
In consideration of these facts we come to
the conclusion that both the so called ego and the things
are unsubstantial.Some may question the validity of this
conclusion as it is based more or less on the implications
of certain sayings and not explicit statements JBfell,there
are explicit statements too which corroborate this conclu­
sion i
The Buddha's expression on the matter is quite
clear when he says that the dogmatic views can be put an
end to on realization of the fact that there is neither a
self nor tilings refteing to a self in the real (saccato) and
ssif actual (thetato)3 sense.This point has been made all
the more clear by the Mdha in his discourse to Sesniya,
Therein he says that unlike the teachers given to etema-
15. sm and nihilism,the BigHg§htened One does not teach
of a self in the real (saccato) and actual (thetato)sense
ei tiier hare or hereafter.^ Following the preceding

1.Five aggregates constitute 'Stmlya.M.K.fP.123;Cf .S.N.

•Ill, inattaniya sutta, P.78»
2. itmsnyasati c&tmlyam kuta eva bhavi§vati
• nirmamo nirahaifikarah samad&tmaninayoh.MlF, PP.345,347
3; Kathavatthu, P;67;
4. Kathavatthu, P.,68.
passage, here atta or self has. to be taken in the wider
sense of self nature of both the subject and the object*
According to Buddhism the whole world of phenomena>describe«*
in terms of five a^rega^e3,can be reduced into the two
categories of nama or mind and rupa or matter.So when the
Buddha speaks of the unreal nature of self he really means
both nSma 2nd rupa.It is rather surprising to note that in
the face of such clear expressions Buddhaghosacariya
maintaining the real!tty of nama and rupa*^ Buddhagho oaca..
riya -maintaining the r^aMty of nama and-rupa.^ Buddha­
gho sacariya attributes thi3 stanza quoted in the support of
* o

his case to Poranas. There is no mention made as to who

these pofSnas were .But then it is quite clear from the very
nataire of the case that they were none other than the
Sarvastivadins in the present case.
Thus with reference to both the implicit and ex­
plicit statements the unsubstantial nature of things can be
maintained.Finally the whole matter can be settled with
reference to the well known saying that all dhammas or
things are unsubstantial. 'Ms is a categorical statement-
and as such in establishing the nairatmya nature of all
•things Madhyamikas have very appropriately referred to the
" '4

1. namarn ca rupam ca idhatthi saccato, na hettha satto

manujo ca vijjati". sunn ait idafii yantam ivabhi samkhatam, ■
dukknassa pufij© tinakatthasadi so .?i suddhimagga, 11 .P .595.
2. It appears that in support of his explanations and inter*
pretations Buddhagho sacariya went on quoting from different-
sources. As they belonged to so many different schools
he gave them the common same of Poranas without disclosing
their identity.
5; sabbe dhamma anaf>jba.Dp.,St;No.297.-
4. anatmdnah sarvadharma4; MK¥., P.355.
Now quite a relevant question may be raised regarding thei
use of the term dhamraa, in the stanza concemed.In the tri­
ple stanzas the term samkhara hausen used in the first and
the secord and dhamma in asynonymous sense in the third*
Whdfy has the terra samkhara not been used in the third also?
Well, there is a good reason fbr it* .Although the term
dhamraa is used in place of samkhara yet it has gpt a special
significance of its own .This can be. appreciated with referen
^ce to the definition of the term according to Which dhamna
means that which has a character^ nature of its own} That
is fee self-nature of things.So toe Buddha revolutionised
the whole thing by characterising the same as anatta or
unsubstantial .Thereby he established the phenomenal nature
of all things.
Thus after reviewing the whole question in the
light of the Hikayas we can see that they not only lend
support to but definitely establish both pudgala nairatmya
and dharma nairatmya.Obviously the Sarvastivadins and alliecd
schools were misled by those expressions which refer to a
so called being only-This is quite evident from toe fact
that they establish am|i& doctrine only by denying toe
reality of an e@o substance corresponding to those very
teiras.In this manner their attention being wholly occupied
with the psychological aspect of the matter they lost sight
of toe other important aspect .As a consequence they came to
believe in certain ultimate principles called dhammas.The
earlier form of Theravada aid toe I’ahayaha schools, special^
the Madhyomika school among the latter*detected their mistake

i. Atthasalini (B.O.S.), P.33; Abhidhamakosa(R.),P.56

Soul Theory of Buddhists, P.103*
, 93.
and pointed out to them that their interpretation did not
cover the whole field of the anatta doctrine and &3 3uch
they called them pudgalanal ratmyavadins .Her© we come to
the final conclusion that dharmanairaimya is quite in
keeping with the spirit of the original teachings of the
‘Master as recorded in the Nikayas*
In the following pages the subject will he
discussed from different standpoints having an immediate
hearing on it.

..SefiMfiP.. .JMt .

When it is said that truth has to "be found out or

searched for it means that what is given is not true.Thaij^ is
to say the world as presented to us hy the sense perceptions
is not true.This has the further implication that what we per­
ceive is only an appearance and to know the reality or the
things as they are a higher vision has to be gained.AecordingLy
a distinction has to be made between appearance and reality,
things as we see than and things as existing in themselves .This
distinction is found in sll the systems of philosophy which do
not accept sense perceptions as the be all and end all of the
Application to Buddhism.
This distinction has been very well defined in all
the Buddhist schools .The world as we experience in the usual
course of our day to day life is conditioned by avijja
or ignorance.As such we do not know the real state of things.
The true vision can be gained only through the development of
what is called pahha or insi^it.One i s called sammuti
or the conventional view and the other is called paramattha
or Hie transcendental view.
We have already shown that while there is a family
likeness among the different schools of Buddhism regarding
the anatta doctrine, the re is also an important difference
between the two principal divisions of Mahayana and Hinayahas-
The same observation holds good in the present case also .The
distinction between the two standpoints as above stated is
directly connected with the anatta doctrine.So we propose
to consider here this distinction as maintained hy Mahayana
on the one hand and Hinayana on the o ther hand for the
elucidation of the nature of the anatta doctrine.
B&dhyamika Explanation.

Magarjuna,the greatest exponent of Sunyavada,

attaches great importance to the right understanding of the
distinction. In this connection he says that ’the Buddha*s
teachings refer to two kinds of truth: conventional truth
of the -world and the transcendental truth.Those people
who cannot appreciate this distinction between the two
truths are not able to understand the profound reality as
taught in the Buddha’s doctrine.^- It is evident from this
that according to Hagarjuna to have a right approach to
reality as such,it is very essential to have a full apprecia**
tion of this distinction.
Now what are the two truths ? Samvriti satya or
the conventional truth and Paramartha satya or the ultimate
truth.Samvriti literally means a covering or screen. It
is the screen of ignorance that keeps off the truth from
/ There are two kinds of samvriti :Lokasamvriti
* •

and Alokasamvriti. One represents the individual experiences

peculiar to a person due to some defect in his or her
sense organs.The other represents experiences cocmon to

1. dve satye samupasritya buddhansm dharmadedana,

lokasamvriti saty&nca. satyanca paramarthatah,
ye’nayorna vijananti vil&a^^satyayordvayofi, •
te tattvam na vijananti gamhhfram buddhaiSsane.
OT., PP.492, 494.
2. samvriyate avriyate vathabhutapariIjnanam
svabhiLVavaranadavrata praka^anacca nayeti samvritih.
BCAP.,P.352; Cf.lTC?., P.492
all the people In general. They are experiences we undergo
in our day-to-day life., fentideva ealls them rnithys samvriti
and tatliya samvriti* What is true for an individual under
certain circumstances may be false for the generality
of people .Any way both these experiences fall within the same
empirical sphere.£antideva further defines the sphere as
circumscribed by the darkness of ignorance and governed by
ihe world of sense perceptions has got a relative
existence only .Our conceptions regarding the world are
all dualistic in nature,We know the world in terms of distinc­
tions or it would he more correct to say that the world as
presented to us by the sense perceptions is dualistic,All the
distinctions are true for the intellect which functions
within the magic circle of avidya only* That is to say,what
is true at the intellectual level is relative and as such
conditioned.Thi.s is saravjiii satya, P&raraartha eaiya or the
ultimate significance of things is revealed to prajna or
insist only .This is the truth absolute which has to be
approached by way of intuition which alone is able to give a
full and correct view of things,Thus the light of prajna.
alone can remove ihe darkness of ignorance which hides
the true nature of things from our sight,This,in brief , is
the distinction between samvriti and paramartha as presented
by the I^adhyamikas.

Except for the mthod of explanation Yogacara approach

is almost the same as that of the Madhyamikas.They speak of
three grades of truth:parikaXpitafparatantra and parinis-
panna.On© is illusory knowledge, the other is relative
2. SPTRAL^SARA, PP. 22,94,95

knowledge and the third is absolute knowledge .The first and
the second may he compared with the tathya and the m ithya
samvriti of ^ntidem.Yijna'Dsimatratasiddhi makes these
* v

points clear by explaining the unsubstantial nature of the

thin@3 with reference to them* ‘Thus, according to it,
parikalpita explains laksanani svabklvata or the unsubstantial
nature of characteristics attributed to a thing.Paraiantra
explains u|d$t tini^vabhavata or the unsubstantial nature
of a thing with reference to its origin.That is to say a
self-existing thingfe does not depend upon others .Lastly
par-inispenna explains paramarthaniavahhavaia or the
unsubstantial naturo of a thing in the ultimate sense.^ So
Yogacara^like the Kadhyaraikas,maintains the same distinction
between the relative truth and the absolute truth.They
differ in the matter of explanation»but there is full
agreement in ikair approach.;*
Here we have the approach to reality as presented •
by Hadhyaasika and Yogicara.Now what do the two standpoints
as maintained ty them in common signify ?r&€y signify
their explanation of llairatmyavada or the doctrine of the
unsubstantial nature of tilings,In other words the doctrine
of truths is nothing but a restatement of the anatma doctrine
from another angle,This say be made clear with reference to
the doctrine involved here.
—hiiitiI rrn*— «i— nimuummmmmmtmrnmmmmmmmitm mummm > mm+mmmmmmm

1, TijnaptinatrEt&siddki* PF. 39,42

2. Lankavatara also speaks of two methods:
Besananaya and Siddhantanaya, FP»17L* 172,
We have already mentioned that both Hadhyamika and
Yogaeara maintain the unsubstantial nature of ego(pudgala-
nairatmya)as well as of things (dfcaitnanai ratmya) .In the
present context the points at issue are the pudgala-indi-
viduality or personality and dhaimas such as syandhss or
the five aggregates.According to the two schods referred to
here,being unsubstantial in nature,they all,nafflelytpudgalas
and dharmas, f&Ll within the sphere of samvriti or the
conventional follows that they have been used in

the scriptures only from the conventional point of view.

They are valid and current in the world of sense perceptions
functioning under avidya.So when the Buddha made use of
them in his discourses he did so in keeping with the practi­
cal purpose of the world.There is nothing ultimately true
about thorn.On the contrary it is the realization of the
unsubstantial nature of all thirds that constitutes paramaf
thasatya or the ultimate truth. Candrakxrti means this when
ho says that doctrines regarding consciousness(Yijiianavada)
and individiali ty (pudgaiavada) * etc., have been preached
by the Buddha in a conventional sense (neyarthatvena) .In
his commentary on Vijnaptimatrat&siddhi jiharmapalacaxifya
speaks to the same end,"existence of atma and dhaimas i.e*
the ego and the phenomenal world,is affirmed in the sacred
scriptures only provisionally and never in the ultimate
sense."55 Thus the MSyana schools establish
Pudgalanairatraya and Bharmanairatmya with reference to
the two methods of samvriti and paramartha.
ffalMiasika Explanation.
faibhasikas use the texin sscnrriii for composite tiling
whose names can he current only so long as they remain 00.

That is to say the conventional things having temporary earits

-tones, their names also share the same fate,Thus the pot
and the cloth are conventional names,for they have a meaning
only while the objects indicated by them remain intact*
Well,they, by their very nature being constituted,are liable
to decay and decomposition at one time or the other*
Such being their condition terns-pot. and cloth have only
a conventional usage* On the other hand those terns are
used in sn ultimate sense which continue to indicate things
both in their composite stats and the analytical state of
atoms .Thus the term rupa con be used for berth the pot and .
the atoms when it is dissolved/*
In case of a conventional thing idea conveyed by
the thing disappears along with the disapperanee of the
tiling itself , whereas in the case of a real thing the idea
so conveyed continues to exist.Thus with the disappearance
of the pot the ides, connected with the same also disappears.
On the other hrnd the idea connected with rGpa continues.
* _ .. ..... .... . _ _ ____ __ * _......... .

,* samvritih sambandhah,iadvasena satySh samvritiaatyam.

pare 'yarn iti vyavaharah, tan tun am paraspara-sambandhena,
bliinnabhinnak ri ti a than a vasena sannives'itah tantavah pata-
' petiahhidlieyah.tatsasbandliagrahsne na pafcavyavaharah.evam
ghatdyam iti kaihanam samvriti sat, AIM dharraakosa,P.161
2. vastu vina/epi yasya vicaro nirar.taram pravartate tat
■ -paramarthasat,yatha rape parsmsnutvam praptepi rupa
vicarah nravartata eva.Abhidharnakcaa.P,,161.
100 .
This is true of other aggregates also*
*what the ?aibhasikas
mean to say is that the five aggregates based as they are
on atoms are ultimately real whereas their composites are
true in a conventional sense o nly.This is the position of
Pudg&lanalrateiy&vada which denies the existence of an ego
as ouch^but maintains the reality of the dhanmas in an
ultimate sense(paramrthatan),Evident!y Oandraklrti referjio

this definition -when he says in an ironical way that those

who deem themselves to give the true interpretation of the
Buddha’s words define the elements and the aggregates with
reference to their self-nature, Ihus ?aihhasikaa and for
that matter Sarvist,iv§dins include invididuals and individual
things in the domain of sasrjriti and the dharmas in the

sphere of paramartha.

how let us take into consideration the two stand­

points as maintained by the lleo-tkeravandins.
In his comm antary on Kathavatthu Riddhagho aacariya
gives a clear account of thi3 section of the TheraVada
school* He says that the fully enlightened One,the noblest
of teachers,has taught two kinds of truth;Bammutisacca or
tlie conventional truth and p&ramatthasacca or the ultimate
truth and a third truth is not available.*- He further
points out that one refers to the world of convention and ti

2* duve saecani akkhasi samhuddho vadatam varo

saumutim paramatthaHea tatiyara nupslabhfcati .
• «■ w •

Katfr&vatihu Com. (II. )P.i04.

other to the suchness of the dhamnas. Here the use of the
word 1 suchness * is very iap>rtant, Does it mean ‘^ath^ta
» 2
or suehness as taught in the lahayana texts which is no­
thing hut the ultimate goal reached by way of Dharamanairir
raya. Buddha^iosacariya has left no room for ary such .
doubt by his explanations of the matter as given at other
* 3
places. In Atthasalini he says that dhamnas alone exist

taught in Athidhamma. Prom this very explanation of

Athidharama as paraznattfcadhazoma, it is clear that by dhamraa
he means the seventy rwo dhanmas as dealt mth ihfrein.
So the egression concerned does not mean the suchness of
dhammas but. the dhammas as such. Although these two
egressions look alike yet -they mean entirely two differe-
nt -things. One represents absolutism and the other
pluralistic realism. In this connection BuddhaghosScariya
further says that expressions such as sttafjiva,puggalat
deva and so on indicate the conventional usage whereas feha
khandaa, dfcatus, ayatanas, etc. iiillddate the ultimate
usage. Rupa,etc.» can be determined with reference to

their individual and common characteristic®.

1. Sank eta vacansm saecafc lokasaanmutdkarana, paramattha


vacanam saccam dhammanam taihalakkhangt tA-.

Kathavatfiiu Com., (H.J, P. 104
* ...
2. Larikavatara, P.70; M7., PP* 449,540 Siksa Samuceaya,
P. 165
3. Atthasalini (B.O.S.) P. 3B, para 52
4. buddhanah pana dve katha: sazanuti katha ca paramattha
katha ca. tafctha satto, puggalo, devo^adika sanmuti
•»• *•
katha nama... khandha, dhattyo, ayatariani.. "adika
paramattha katha nama, Kathavatihu Com.(H)» P 103.
This is not so of the individuals etc* because they
have to he explained with reference to rupa , etc. v So there
is ample evidence to show that sammuti sacca or the conven­
tional truth as maintained by the Neo-theravadins applies
to individuals whereas paramattha sacca applies to the dha-
sanas as dealt with in Abhidhamma. It may he pointed out he­
re that except for the method of explanation, there is a
family likeness between Sarvastivadi position and the Neo-
theravadi position. Their common approach leads them^pud-
galanairatmye. Another noteiaorthy point is that one has its
interpretation based on the logical foundation of ultimate
atoms whereas the position of the other interpretation is
conspicous by the absence of such a basis. As already pointed
out, this |'oes to show the sudden introduction of the
interpretation concerned at a later stage.

Xathavatthu and the Truths

In the first chapter we made a diaticntion between
earlier form of Theravada and the IIoo-theravada. We also
quoted the authority of Kathlvatthu in support of the for-
mer* So this in “iry would be incomplete without considering
the position of'ksthavatiftu in regard to the present

1. rupadayo dfaamria paccattalaJ^iana samanhalakkhana vasena

atthi, na evam puggalo, rupadisu pana sati avam name evam
gottoM vohsro hoti*
Kathavatthu Com. (H), P. 103
2. Tide page 44

According to Kathsvatthu, as in all other schools dealt

with so far, puggala is saamuti. So there is no dispute
about it* The question arises regarding the dhammas such
as the fiv^u aggregate. Indeed, it may he pointed out
that in Kath&vatthu these abrogates etc*, have bean aceep-
ted in a real and ultimate sense. So the question may
arise as to therein lies the difference between KatHavatihu,
and the realistic schools? jsell,, such a question should
not be raised at all. The similarity is only an apparent
one* It is one of egression only and not of sense.
As already explained in the begining Kathavatihu
does not maintain the realistic nature of the dhananas as
such* In refuting the realistic position of Sarvastivada
it expressly says that dhammas such as rupa do not exist as

realities (bhava) .
If so what does the term paramattha mean here ? It
has to be understood in a sense different from that which
id usually accepted* In the first place, as already explain­
ed in the first chapter, paramattha, in the present context,
may be taken to mean terras with reference to which the
phenomenal existence has to be explained. This is the sen­
se in which dhammas have been used as .paramattha In the
Abhidharsna pitaka. In the second place there is another
explanation which is even more to the point. According to
it dhammas are paramattha since they a re the terms with

1* saccikattha paramatthena, kathavatthu, 1, P, 10

2. Katfaavatthu, 1, P* 120, para 7.

reference to which the tiLtimate nature of things is explain­

ed, Thus r%>a etc,p are samkhata or conditioned and paticca-
semuppama or caused., Now what is caused and. conditioned
does not exist in itself and by itself. That is to say it is
unsubstantial in nature. So the final implication is that
dhammas as. used in Xathavatihn are intended to explain the
unsubstantial and hence the phenomenal nature of things.
The question may he raised as to why not the same
explanation be applied in the case of Neo-theravida also?
with reference to the explorations and interpretations made
by Buddhagfcosacariya we have made it amply clear that he
has established the realistic nature of the ctaanas. It is
th© Ssrvistiv&di interpretation foisted into the earlier
one with logical liability,
.Another important point to be noted in this regard
is that Kathavatthu does not mix up other dhamnas with Nibb-

ana, Sven where Nibbana 'is classified with other dharanas
A'K^n under the common Category of paramattha it takes care to
rl 'V-'- .
' L' ^ r W
\ - r keen the distinction and -the other as asamkhata or the
<■ ,J%c ,. •
unconsiditionsd. But in the case of Neo-theravada they havi
VW''v>-<"r •fee opposite course. Wherever possible they have tried
• , cJ
^ O'-
foil owed^thei r level best to classify Nib Dana with other
,dhaianas so as to support their realistic interpretation.
Thus the phenomenal! stic ineterpretation pf the earlier
form of Therarada stands*

1, Xaihavatthu, 1, p* 34 para 171

2. K,?* 11 FP, 317-319*.

to have given here the two interpretations of samvritf

satya and parsraaartha satya as presented "by the two major
schools of Hinayana and Maitayana. They are directly connec­
ted with their respective standpoints regarding the snatma
doctrine., In this connection we have pointed out how Maha-
yana schools in general and the Madhyamika school in parti­
cular lay emphasis on the fact that coemptions of dhaima
as much as pudgala fall within the domain of conventional
truth end not the ultimate truth 0.3 maintained by the Hina­
yana schools concerned*
Now we have to consider how far their position is home
out by the Nikayas then selves.

The Doctrine of Truths in the Nikayas.

There is not a single word of expression in the Nika-


yas which states the khandhas and forjthat matter,; dhsmraas

concerned as paramattha or ultimately true. It is the sayi-

_ 1
sgsms ng of Yajira and the discussion between Nagaaena
and Krfcfcfcsoey Ifilinda connected with the same that are often
quoted by the supporters of the pudgalanalrahnya view. To
make the point involved clear I quote the Thole dialogue h&J
" How is your reverence called? Bhaate* "hat is your

1. S.N., 1, p. 1S4*

"Your majesty I am called Nagasena; my fellow monks,

your majesty, address ms as NSgasana; but whether parents
gave me the name Nagasena, or Surasena, or Yirasena, or
Sihasena, it is, nevertheless, your majesty but a way of
counting, a tem, an appellation, a convenient designation,
for there is no person to he found.0
Then said Milinda, the King:
° Liston to me, my Lords, ye five hundred yonakas, and
ye numerous monks. Nagasena here says thus: ’there is no
person here to he found. possible for me to assent
to what he says?* and Milinda the kind spoke to the Yen ’hie
Nagasena as follows: Bhante, if there is no person to he
found who then furnishes you monks with the monastic
requisites - robes, food, bedding and medicine, the reliance
of the sick ? Who makes use of the same? Who keeps the
precepts? Who applies' himself to meditation? Who realises
the paths, the fruits and Nirvana? Who destroys life? Who
takes what i& not given him J Who commits immorality? Who
tells lies? Who drinks intoxicating liquor? Who commits the
five crimes that constitute proximate karma? * In that case
there is no merit; there is no demerit, there is no one who
does or causes to he done meritorious or demeritorious
deed; neither good nor evil deeds can have any fruit
or result. Bhante Nagasena, neither is he a murderer who
kills monks, nor can you monks, bhante Nagasena, have any
teacher, preceptor, or ordination. When you say, * my
follow monks, Your majesty, address me as Nagasena, what
then is this Nagasena? pray, bhante, is the hair of the
head Nigasena?
0 Nay, verily, your majesty.”

" Is the hair of the body Ragasena?"

" Ray, verily9 your majesty."
"Are nails*, teeth** skin., flesh...
« *■ * * , .

sinews.* hones.. marrow of the hones.,

kidneys., heart.« liver., pleura..
spleen,, lungs,, intestines* .manesteiy..
stomach,, faces,, lale.* phlegm,,
pus,• blood., sweat., fat., tears,,
lynph.. saliva,* snot,* synovial fluid.,
urine,, brain^of the head Nagaaena?"
w lay, verily, your majesty8,
* Is the corporeal form Nsgsssna?"
" Roy, verily, your majesty* u
"Is sensation Ragasena?"
"lay, verily, your majesty. "
"Is perception Negssena?"
"Kay, verily, your majesty."
"Are the activities of the mind Nagasena?*
"Nay, verily, jbur majesty*"
"Is consciousness Nagasena?"
"Kay, verily, your majesty*"
"Are them, Bhante, corporeal form, sensation,
perception, the activities of tho mind and
consciousness unitedly Nagasena?"
"Kay, verily,your majesty."
"Is it then, Bhante, smoothing besides corporeal
form, sensation, perception, the activitirs of
mind and consciousness which is Ragasena?"
"Nay, verily, your majesty."
"Bhante, although I question you very elosely, I
fail to discover any Nagasona* Verily #rjow Bhante,

is a mere empty sound, Nhat Nagaseaa is thero here? Bha-

nte, you speak a falsehood, a lie; Ihere is no Nagasena.*
Then TTen’ble Nagasena spoke to Milinda, the king as folic
"Yc-ux* Majesty, yen are a delicate prince, an exceeding
ly delicate prince; and if, your majesty, yoa walk in the
middle of -the day on hot sandy grounds, and you tread on
noi#i grit, gravel and sassd, your feet "become sore, your
"body tired, and mind oppressed, and the "body consciousnes*
suffers* Pray, did you come afoot or riding?"
"Bhante, I do not got afoot, I came in a chariot*"
"Your Majesty, if you came in a chariot, declare tta
me the chariot. Pray your majesty, is the pole the chario*
"Hay, verily, Ehante.*
"Is the axLe the chariot?"
"Nay, verily, Bhante,"
"Are the wheels the chariot?"
"Nay5 verily, Bhante."
"Is the chariot "body the chariot?"
"Nay, verily, Ehante*"
"Is the "banner-staff the chariot?"
" Nay, verily, Ehante* *
"Is the Yoke the chariot?"
9 Nay, verily, Bahnte*"
"Are the reins the chariot?"
"Nay, verily, Bhante,.1"
"Is the gpading stick the chariot?”
"Nay, verily,Ehante,"
Pray, your majesty, are Jk>le,axle,'sfeeels,chariot-'bodf
"banner-staff,yoks,rQins and goad unitedly the
"Nay, verily, Efaante..*1
"Is it, then, your majesty, something else besides pole,
axle, wheels, chariot body, banner-staff,yoke,reins and
goad which is the chariot?0
"Nay, verily, Shant-e."
* Your majesty, although I question you very closely
X fail to discover any chariot. V^xy^now, your majesty
the word chariot is a mere empty sound, what chariot is
there here? Your majesty, you speak a falsehood, a lie,
there is no chariot. Your majesty, you are the chief king
in all the continent of India. Of whom are you afraid that
you speak a lie? listen to me, my lords, ye five hundred*
Yonakas, and ye numerous monks,* Milinda the kind here says
thus:’I came in a chariot and being requested: *Your
majesty, if you came in a chariot, declare to me the chairot,
he fails to produce any chariot. Is it possible, pray, for
me to assent to what he says?”
°V/li6n he had thus spoken, the five hundred Yonakas
applauded the Yenlble Nagasena and spoke to Milinda the
king as follows:
"How, your majesty, answer, if you can."
Then kin^' Milinda spoke to the Yen*ble Nagasena
and Nagasena spoke to kincj Milinda as follows:
"Now your majesty, answer,, if you can. ”
"Then Milinda 'the kinj‘ spoke to the venfble Nagasena
as follows:
"Ehante Nag3ena, I speak no lie. The word chariot
is but a way of counting, term, appellation, convenient desig
.nation and a name for pole, axle,wheels,chariot-body, and
Thoroughly well, your majesty, do you understand a
chariot* In exactly the a&me way, your rnaj esty, in respect
of me, Kagasena is a my of counting, term, appellation,
convenient designation, mere name for the hair of my head,
hair of my boc^r, brain of the head, corporeal forip,sensati­
on, perception, the activities of the mind, and conscious-
ness* But in the absolute sense/is no person to he found*
-yuuv ^
And ths^fajira, your majesty, said as follows in the
presence of the Blessed one."
* Sven as the mid of 'chariot* means
that members joints frame a whole,
so when the groups appear to view,
v/a use the phrase * a living being*"
It is clear frea the whole discussion that the point
in question is the existease or non-existence of a pudgala
or person as such. There 13 no reference to the dhauHnas.
Accordingly Nagaa&ia quotes the saying of fajira which has
an i dan hi cal import* when Vajira saap that there is no bel­

ng as such said it is oni^ conventional usage with referencei
to the Jshardas she only means that the conception of
being exists in relation -go the khandha conception. As in
the case of JSagssuna and ELlinda the aubjeefc of conveBation

hyV -,C- td-

between "Jam and ?ajira is an individuality or personality
\W \X as such., There is no implication to surest that she
accepts the Miandhas as ultimately real.
Here ‘the misconception has been fanned due to not
v appcciatiag 'the real spirit of the ejiiilo. Thera is no
d;/ ques lion regarding tho comparative reality of the whole and!
the parts, for the conception of tho parts is relative to
that of the whole and vice versa. There can be no conception
n*i apwr
the ftTJ^
£j?er* Together^ they
^ — .» *>.4. *'
and to-
, .

Madlyamikas, Thus Chan&rakir&i seys that ’when it is said the

carriage is burnt it follows that its parts are also "burnt.
Just in the same my when ego (ataa) is denied all that is
referring to the same (atmiya) is also denied.
Indeed5 it may he said that it ie this one sided view
of the matter ss accepted by the Sarmstivadino which encou­
raged SsnraiiiYasf. and Wisiputriyas in maintaining pudgalavada.
Bhara sutta is? a cme in point* Therein the- Buddha speaks
of the "burden, and the* "burden-hearar* How what is the "burden
and who is the taden-b©arer4 'fasshEfexfc In the Buddhas own
words five aggregates are the burden and such and such indivi­
dual is the burden-bearer, The conception of the "burden implies
a corresponding "burden-hearer and vice versa. Both "being
relative one does not exist without the mother* They are
expressions used on equal tenors * So5 if pudgala- the "burden-
hearer is conventional the same is true of the five khandhas-
the harden This is as it should ha. But thee what
happened was that the Sarvaativadin accepted the burdonp the
khandhas-as rani and the Vatsiputriyas concluded that the
burdsn-hearer-pu^ila-is equally real. This is only a logical

corollary of the former.

1, yaihaivshi ds@3hs i^the tadaisssnyspi ds^atvannopalabhyante;

evam yogino yadaivatman&iitvifiyom pratipadyante tadaiviit -
miyasksiidhavs^timair^isnyvs^pi niye;tarn pratipadyente, .
FCT".C P. 346
2. 111, P. 25.
3, Refer to IvatKnvptthu and Po savyakj^a.

Parinneyya sutta sheds more light on this point. In
this discourse the Blessed One speaks of knower (paiinri’aia'ri
the known (parinneyya) and knowledge (parinna). Arahat or
the perfect saint is the knower, five aggregates are the
known and the cessation of defilements is the knowledge.
Here too, as in the above case, the terms have been used in
a relative sense. All the three are interrelated. Hone can
stand by itself. So all the three expressions are equally
conventional. Mth his wonderful dialectic Nagarjuna has
brought out this aspect-of the matter."

1. S.N., 111 P. 159

2. Wr, Chapter, 11
Neyyattha and Hitattha.

In the above account we have given the implicit and

solicit statements of the Nikayas bearing on the two stand­
points of conventional truth (seruHuti sacca) and ultimate
truth (paramattha sacca). Then agjain we have made it clear
that the statements referred to establish the unsubstantial
nature of the dharanas.
Here it nay be pointed out that the two standpoints
me not found in the system only. In the very life time of
the Buddha this method of studying the discourses from diffe­
rent standpoints was already prevalent. Anguttara Nikaya
refers to the distinction between Neyyattha suttanta and
Hitattha suttanta. One set of discourses is delivered in
terms referring to popular conceptions and the other set is
delivered in terms explaining the unsubstantial nature of
tilings. In this connection the Buddha says that those who
do not keep this distinction in view are liable to misrepre­
sent him*

1* P* 60; Hanorathspurani (H,)r P. 310;

Nettippakarana, P. 21; Atthasallni PP.76,76;
Patisaathida Com. (H.)» P. 473.

M&Shyamikas have very well brought out the significan­

ce of the tw> standpoints. In this connection SamadhirSja
sutra says that those di Seoul’ses in which Tathagata has tau­
ght the unsubstantial nature of ffihings are to be understood
in an ultimate sense whereas those which refer to pudgala,
atm, purusa and all the dharamas are to be takeii in a conve-
’ - _ i

ntional sense. Aryak^aymati sutra explains Heyartha discou­

rses as those which lead to the path (margavataraya) and
Nitartha discourses as those which lead to the fruit or Nirv-
ana (phalavataraya). It further points out Nitartha discour­
ses as those which deal with the unsubstantial nature of
things leading to deliverance. Chandrakirti says that the
object of Nagarjuaa in writing his monumental work was to
make these two standpoints clear. So we see the great impor
tance attached and that quite correctly by the Madhyamikas
to these two standpoints. They help us in coming to a final
conclusion on the natter of samvriti and paramartha. Thus
the doctrine of the truths also proves the unsubstantial
nature of the dhammas.

1.1. niturthasutranta visesa, janati, yathopadi^ma stgatena

sunyata. yasmin punah pudgalasatvapuruso, 'dwarthatnam
.janati sarvadharman. Samadhiraja sutra, P. 78 1 2 3 4
2, ye sutrantah margavatarya nirdistha.ima te neyar- sutrantah phalavataraya’ra.rdistl ueeyante
nStarthaJi, MKJ., P. 43
3. yavadye sutrantah ^yataniMttapranihitSriahhisamskara
jataaijutpadabhava( Nirgtraa) nihsatvanirjivanihpudgalasva-
mikavimoksamufcha nirdistha ta uceyante nitarthah,
• *Tl

' MKV. > P. 43

4, idam madhayamikasagtram pranitamacaryeha neyamtarthasut-
ranta vibhagopadarsandrthami MKV., P. 41.
f 4

Section Three

Ilaitateya doctrine may also bo veirod from the

side of pensoattl or pmjnspfci 5. Pohrtatii is a synonym for
_ a.
concept (samkfcaia), convention (semanha), usage, (vohra),
name (ftsnsa), term (ni rut ti), indication (vyar^am) and eipre-
©scion (abhilspa)* As evident from these synonyms parmatti
designation and pahraita, what is designated come with -
in the conventional truth (ssmmuti sacca), as. against “the
ultimate truth (paramattha sacca)* This is the original
sense and the sense in which the term has bean need in all
the schools* So taking panhatti in ihe sense of samsmti m
may show that f«r the Buddha not only time, as held by Sar-
vastivada and “the allied schools, but also the dfaaamas
were true only in a conventional sense* The following
discourse illustrates the points,
n These three modes in the world, term or name,
Hiikkhus, which have bean distinct in the pant, are now dis­
tinct, and will be distinct, are not condemned by recluses
and Brahmins who are wise. $hich throe? (i) that material
aggregate which is past, which has ceased,

1* J$hamms8an$tei (B.O.S.), P* 278; Mettippakarana, P. 85

D.N* S*Mo* 15,
2. Mahavaaiu, 1, ?v 168; MKY.*, PP,28, 137 BCAP*., P. 105;
A.K., P* 109
3. candavattanadikamupadaya dasakalaMka, Abhidhammatthasar^i
* Time has been excluded from the list of the
paramattha dhamnas in all the schools concerned.
Which has changed, is reckoned, termed, named "has been";
it is not reckoned as "exists" nor as "will be*.And so the
aggregates of feeling,perception,conformations,conscious­
ness. (2) That material aggregate which is not yet bom and
which has not appeared,is reckoned,termed, named "will be*
but is not reckoned as "exists"nor yas"has been". And
so for mental aggregates. (3) That material body which has
come to birth has appeared,is reckoned,temed, named "existsi
but is not reckoned as "has been"nor as "will be",
and so for -the mental aggregates. Yerily these three modes
in word, tem or name, Bhikkhus, are distinct,have been
distinct in the past,are not,will not be rejected and
repudiated by recluses and Brahmins who are wise.
"]Mkkkus,Yasabhsnna of Ukkala, casuists,nihilistsi
and agiostics-even they too,judged,that these three modes
of reckoning,terming, or naming should not be reacted or
repudiated. And why was that?because they were afraid of
blame,of unpopularity^f incurring opposition."!

What is the purport of the Sutta ? the three divisions of

time and the khandhas with reference to which they are
conceived are indispensable conventional usages (pahnatti).
So even nihilists like Yasabhahhas of Ukkala could not
repudiate than because of the fear of blame,attack and
repproach. Repudiation of these usages means creation of
confusion and putting the machinery of conventional usage

1. S.N., 111,P.71; Kathavatthu, 1, P.140; Cf.A.N. ,1, P.197.

out of fear. Like time and space of Kant they fora the
universal categories, so to say,in terms of which the whole
show is ron.For the tmenlightened people time and all that
time refers to are real. As such they think of not only the
present and what is in the present hut of the past and
what was in the past,future and what will take place in
future. Ibis is due to the fact that they take time as well
as the dhamnas as real* Here the Buddha seems to say that
although the sages have realized the unsubstantial nature
of things yet they conform to the divisions and distinctions
of the world from the conventional point of view. But as ihq
can see through the whole thing^unlike the generality of
people,they are not affected by them.Hence the significance
of the Buddhafs saying:
"Just as,brethem, a dark, blue lotus or a white
lotus,bom in the water,comes to full growth in the water,
rises to the surface and stands unspotted by the water,
even so,brethren, the Ikthagata, having been bom in the
world , having come to full growth in the world,passing
beyond the world,abides unspotted by the world." 1

In this connection it may be pointed out here

that the Neo-there,va&ins have tried to give an interpreta­
tion of psnnatti to suit their theory of the reality of the
dhammas.They interpret pahnatti as concept (pahhapiiatta
pahnatti). One represents our my of iooking at the

1. S.N., 111,P.140
2. Pancappakarapatthakatha (H.), P.18$
Abhidhammattha Sangaha, Chapter viii.
phenomenal world in terns of concepts and the other repre­
sents language-our medium of expression and communication.
Both indicate our conventional usage or samouti sacca.So
it is alright.But then Neo-theravadins do not stop here.
They make another classification with reference to pahnatti
as term: 1. Vijjamana pannatti or a term which is expressive
of a thing that is truly real.
(2) Avijjamaha pahnatti or a term which is expressiv*
of a thing that is not a true reality.
(3) Vijjamanena avijjaraana pannatti or a compound
term of which the first part is a true reality,hut not the
second one.
(4) Avijjamanena vijjamana pahnatti or a compound
term of which the first part is not a reality,hut the second
one is.
(5) Vijjamanena vijjamana pannatti or a compound
term of which both the parts are expressive of true realities *
(6) Avij jamanena avijjamana pahnatti or a compound!
term of which both the parts are devoid of true reality. 1
Here we are concerned with Vijjamana
means a term which is expressive of a thing that i3 really
existent .Here among others they include Hibbana in this
classification .In the first classification we have seen that
pannatti is either concept or tem.Now Nibbaha ijjtaofc some
thing to be conceived of and as such it is beyond all concepts.
So it cannot be pahhapiyatta pahnatti.

l.Pancappakaranatthakatha (H.) P.17;

Abhidhammatthasangaho, Chapter viii.
Then is it a pannapanato pa&natti or a mere tem ? Well,
there is nothing wrong in including the tem Nibbana in
pahnatti in this sense. In faet^t is in this sense that
Bhammasangani has i included Nibbana in pannatti ffer the Bake
of classification and systematisation. But in the second
classification under consideration here,it has been included
with quite a different purpose,namely,to lend support to
the reality of the is one thing to Bay,as flhanma-*
sangani does,that the term Nibbana is pannatti and it is
quite a different thing to say that Nibbana is a pannatti.
One means that a word is a word and the other means that
Nibbana is also a conventional truth. Thi^is an untenable
position .Well, Neo-theravadins knew it. So they included
it in the second classification .Here it can be taken a verbal
manipulation for the achievement of a certain purpose .Hence
the original usage of paftnatti stands.
Categorical statements on_,theJ£atter.
Hie conventional nature of the dhanmas may further be
made clear with reference to explicit expressions of the
Buddha. Let us take into consideration the following passage:
"That which is not upheld,brethren,in the world of
sages,of that I declare "it is not."Ihat brethren is upheld
in the world of the sages of that I declare"! t is so".
"ind what,brethren,is not upheld in the world of
the sages, of which I declare "it is not" ?That body is
permanent,stable, eternal, not subject to decay.That is not

1. Bhammasangani (B.O.S.) P.278

upheld in the jsrorld of the sages,and of that I declare
*it is not®. Reeling, perception,conformations, consciousness-
is permanent,stable,eternal,not subject to <beay*.Thai is
not upheld in the world of sages,and ®f that I declare
"it is not."
"But what,brethren,is upheld in the world of sages
of what do X declare that it is so ?
"Body is impermanent ,woeful and subject to decay"
that,retkren,is upheld in the world of the sages,and of
that do I declare, °it is so "•Likewise with regard to feeling,
perception,conformation and consciousness.
"This,- brethren, is upheld in the world of the
sages and of this do I declare "it is so." ^
According to this passage the Buddha is in full
agreement 'with those sages who maintain the impermanent and
hence the unsubstantial nature of the khandhaa .Like the
sages concerned the Buddha does not accept the existence
of the khandhas and for that matter the dhamrnas as such.
This is just the opposite of what is held by the generality
of people regarding khandhas and dhamrnas.
Now what is the view of the generality o f people
regarding these khandhas ? Eatipada sutta supplies the
"herein,rethren,the untaught average people
view the body as self,feeling as self, perceptionyas self,
conformations as self,consciousness as self,consciousness
as being in the self,the self as being in consciousness*

1. S.N.111,P.1365 Cf.ISK?., P.370.

"Thi s ,brethren, i s called the way l^eadingto the
arising of selfhood*
"Herein brethren, the well-taught Iriygn disciple
regards not body as the self, regards not feeling as
the self, regards riot perception as the self, regards
not consciousness as the self, nor the self as possessed
of consciousness,nor consciousness as being in the self
nor the self as being in consciousness.
"Ibis,brethren,is called the way leading to the
cessation of selfhood." 1
According to this sutta those who are functioning
under ignorance regard the khandhae as having a self-nature.
As such they are real for them.On the other hand those
#10 have received light see the unsubstantial and hence
the unreal nature of the dhatamas.The unenlightened view
leads to the perpetuation of the sense of selfhood whereas
the enlightened view leads to the cessation of the same.
It is evident from this that the existence of
khandhas as such is held by the unenlightened people of the
world.So they come within saramuti sacca or the conventional
The Buddha leaves no room for any d>ubt on this
point when he says, "There is brethren, in the world a
world condition which the Tathag&ta has thoroughly
penetrated and realized,and, having thoroughly panetrated
and realized it,he declares,teaches and defines it,opens
it up and analyses it*

1. S.N.UL1, P.44.
"And what9brethren, is that world condition in the
world which th9 Ifethagata haj^thoroughly penetrated and
realised, and,having thoroughly penetrated and realised
it,what does he declare,teach, open up and analyse ?
"Hatter, brethren, is that world condition in the
world which the Tathagata analyses.And whoever brethren,
understands not and sees not when the Tathagata declares,
teaches, defines,opens up and analyses,him, brethren, do
I set at naught as a foKLish worldling, blind,without
vision, unknown, unseeing." 1

The same is true of feeling,perception,conformation

and consciousness.
In this discourse the Buddha clearly says that the
five khandhas are lokadhammas.That is to say they are
facts of the world.They are the facts as accepted by
generality of people. As such they are true from a
conventional, point of view.They are facts in an empirical
sense and not in an absolute sense.
The Buddha takes up these so called facts of the
world for study.He analyses them,examines them and reveals
their unsubstantial and unreal nature.So the inevitable
conclusion is that khandhas are facts (dhammas) only
from a conventional point of view.

1*, P.139
Here the question say be raised as to why does the
Buddha speak about them at all when they are loka dhammas ?
Well, the Buddha does not speak about them as the unenlightened
people of the world do.For the people of the world these
dhammas are real .They take them as suchJ^Pasp then and try
to hold fast to them .They live for them*figfct for them and .
die for them.
The Buddha has realised their unsubstantial nature.
So he is unaffected by the.As such he is said to be above the
world. The world as ajrf matter of discourse and dispute does
not exist for him.
Madhyamikikarikas choirs' more light on this point
when it says that the world as a subject of discourse and
dispute does not exist for the Tajfeg^ata.Then the Tathagata
speaks about- them he does so out of compassion for the
beings to enlighten them on the real state of affairs.
So when the Buddha teaches ale at the truth he does so with
reference to the worldJle begins Ms inquiry with the
world of phenomena. That is to sgy paremattha is reached
a3 o result of investigating into the n^nre of saranmti,
The realisation of the truth means the realisation of the
truth of the world . The transcendental truth is not
realised apart from the empirical world. It is realised
now and here each by himself (ehipassiko,opanayiko,
paccattam vedit&abbo vinnuhi). It is a revaluation of
facts and as such the change brought about ia one of prospec­
tive only.

MKV., P.370
Na^rjuna refers to this fact when he says that
the ultimate truth is not taugfct without reference to the
conventional truth.Without the realization of the ultimate.
_ A
truth Nibbana cannot be attained. So paramartha is realised
with reference to dhamraas such as khandhas,but then this
should not be taken to mean that the realization consists
in accepting the dhansnas as accepted by the ananlightened
people of the world. In fact,as already shown, this
realization consists in understanding the true nature,the
unsubstantial nature of the dharamas.
It follows from thiB that all dharamas are
a&atta. The descriptions of elements,aggregp.tes and all the
rest of dhaaszsas as given by the Buddha are all from the
conventional point of view (lokadh&mma). Madhyamika, like
Sarmstivada and the allied schools, accepts these descriptions
of the dhammas as found in the Nikayas, nay in Abhidhansna itself
as the word ofthe Buddha. Their criticism, which is based
on very good reasons, is against taking then as ultimate
facte ?

1. vyaTraharamanapritya paramartho na desyate,

paramarthamanagamya nirvanam nadhigamyate. ME?., P.494?
Bodhicaiyavataia, P.365.See.also P.372;
T^ayabhutam vyavaharasatvam upeyabhutam paramarthas tyam.
Pancavi^isatLina ca subhute samskritavyatlrekena
[ Asamskritam sakyam peajnapaj-iturn.
2. ME?., P.261.
3. MY., P.267
So when the Buddha explains aita, purusa and
puggpla etc.* he does so with the full understanding that
they are hut popular adages* popular expressions and
popular designations.Unlike the average people of the
world he does not hold them as matter of fact (aparanmeti)^*,
It must he remembered here that while other expressions
refer to ego only the termatta ,with a wider connotation,
covers up the things as well.This matter has been arleady
explained at great length.
This is true not only of the Buddha hut of all
perfect saints. Hence the significance of the Buddha*s
saying that “Arahat, the accomplished saint, who is fise
from defilements and who leads the final life does use
the popular expressions such as *1* and fMINEf in confor­
ming to the conventional usagei^ Further he says*for him
who is free from self and ego these do not exist as fetters
any raore.All auch fetters have been destroyed.T
Although the sage is thus beyond all kinds of egoism and
conceits yet he uses popular expressions such as *1* and
’mine* in conforming to the popular usages.^

1. D.N., 1, P.17; fUU, 1, P.257

2. S.N., 1, P.14
3. S.8., 1 #P.14
'Bins though the distinction between *1* and ’mine*
subject and object does not exist for the unenlightened, they
use them in keeping with the popular practices.

1. Buddhaghosacarij^a interprets lokasamanfta to mean puggala

ste., conveying an individual sense. Ho does not apply it
to dhaesnas. TMs is in keeping with his realistic interpreta­
tion. Pancappakarana Con. (H.),. P.103.

Section Four •

The Doctrine of Impermanence

In the previous pages of this chapter we proved

the validity of Bharmanairatmya doctrine from the view
point of the doctrine of two truths and panhatti.Here we
propose to study the same in the light of the doctrine
of anicca or impermanence.
Impermanence is a universal fact.It is the greatest
truth that we are experineing all our life from birth to
death.In spite of this life long experience we do not
realize its universal character.Here we mi$it raise objec­
tion against this .statement saying that change iB a
matter of common experience and as such all,, without
exception, do accept it.Well, there is only a semblance

of truth in this saying.lhen thoroughly examined,it will he

quite clear to us that there is a world of difference
between this common conception of change and the coctrine
of impermanence as taught by the Buddha.
Common View

For the average man change means a change in a

certain state or stage and not in substance.Childhood,
boyhood,youth,manhood and old age are only so many stages
through which a man passes in his life.Really speaking ha
does not think of them in terms of change but in isocm
terms of states.Ibr instance Nagasena is a child,a boy,
a youth, a grown up man,an old nan. In spite of change
in different stages of his life Magasena continues to be iii

the same.

3hai is to say, when we speak of change in different

stages of life we do not think of Nag^ena as subject
to change*It is as if Nagasena is passing through than with*'
out being affected by thorn. So in the cage of the connion run
of people the conception of Nagasena and for that matter
of any being remains permanent,For them satta,^f7a,purusa
and puggala are real.This is at the root of the belief in
the existence of an ego as such.
Now the existence of an ego is conc^eived with
reference ot the five ^ggreg^tes of matter, feelihg^percep-
tion, formation and consciousness. So, along with the
acceptance of an ego as such they also accept the existen­
ce of the khandhas as such.That is to say, they believe ifc
. 2
the existence of the self-nature of things as well. This
conception of change as accepted by the generality of
people may be interpreted as change in form only and not in is a kind of change in formation and not a
transformation. So their conception of beingB and things,
of the self and the world continues to be same. They
take the whole universe, perceived by them, as real. They
firmly believe in the self-existence of both puggalas and

1. S.N.,P. 327
2. S.N.,P. 328
3. This is the world and that is the self, and I shall
contine to be in the future permanent, immutable,
eternal, of a nature that knows no change. Tea, I shall
abide to eternity M.N., 1, P. 138

dhammas . Thus the conception of change in average people

does not affect the substantial view as held by them.As a
result they take the whole empirical existence as real. So
they see a form and take it as such, try to grasp# i^t and make
all kinds of determinations about it.This is true of feeli­
ngs, perceptions, conceptions and consciousness. The reason
is that they take than as so many entities, things existing
in themselves. Change being „ matter of form and position,
substance that enters into their composition continues to
be the same. The core of things remains unaffected by the
seeming, change. To put it in the Budha’s own words people
take matter , feelings, perceptions and consciousness as

having a self-nature, a nature that is static and fixed.

We project a soul, so to say, into every object
both animate and inanimate. So if we analyse and examine
this static attitude of the people towards things of the
world even the case of the civilized people inasuedg would not
fare better than that of the savages. One set of the people are
as much animists' as the other set. Difference is a matter
of degree only • It appears only on the surface. The utmost
we can say is that one is the refined form and the other is
the crude form. But so far as their general attitude is
concerned there is no essential difference between #iem.
Hence there is a great truth in the saying that if you only
scratch the civilized man you can discover the savage in
him* It is as much true in the present ease as in so m^y
other respects* Thus in the estimation of the Buddha
and in fact all the enlightened ones we all would come
under the category of animists.

The Buddha corrects this view*

Here the Buddha comes to enlighten us. He says that

when we Are taking a static view of the world we are all
working under illusion. The whole thing is a dynamic process
of events and happenings. All things are in a state of flux.
From beginning to end it is all a matter of becoming . No
beinghood is attained at any stage.
Those who generally speak of anicca says that a
thing deos not exist even for two consecutive moment.This is
an expression borrowed from the realistic doctrine of the
Sarvastivadins. If we are to express the real spirit of the
'3wT; [p,

Budda*s teaching on the matter it must be said that a

i thing does not exist even for a moment* Thus the doctrine
of anicca as expounded by the Buddha convert all entities
into non-entities, all things into events, all events into
concepts, $hen the Buddha is employing such expressions as
beings, things and events in this context he does not take
them in the usual sense that we do, Ibr us all beings,
things events are real. The Buddha uses them as s^ksany
figurative expressions to bring home to people their unreal
Out of conditions and relations we build up a
seemingly stable universe* Subject and object and all such
conceptions are not things in themselves. These terms
operate only in our world, the world of phenomena. So long
as we look upon these limited and relative conceptions as


absolutely true we are subject to ignorance and misery.The

moment we realize the doctrine of anieca in its true sense
all beings lose thoir bein^iood, things lose thir thingjne^
ss and events lose their eventful ness* All substances are
turned into shadows . All divisions and distinctions lose
their meaning for us. In this pfoole phenomenal existence
there is nothing to grasp at, everything eludes our grapp,
there is no solid ground to set our foot upon. JO-1 admitt^s
or objects ce§se to exist for us. With the d»wn of insist
truth absolute is realized. This is the significance of sniaa^
animitta earnsdhi reached by way of anicca d0etrin0.It leads
to the same goal as the anatta doctrine.In other words the
the onicca doctrine is nothing but the ana tta doctrine in a
different form*
Impermanence and the Doctrine of Momenta rirass

Against the background of these general- remarks, on

the impermanent nature of things we hajre to examine if ther
is any truth in the doctrine of momentariness as propounded
by the Sarvastivadins. To feave a comprehensive idea of the
system the history of its origin must be traced out. We
have pointed out above that some practical considerations
and the literal interpretation of the certain passages in
_ .1
the Nikayas led to the establishment of Pudgalavada.

1. Wide P. 81

The same observation holds good in the case of Sarvastirada

ciIso« This is quite clear from the nature of the reasons
advanced by them in support of their case. 5br instance
, the Vaibhaaikas saysV that the three divisions of time are
always existent (1) because this has been declared in the
scriptures (2) because of the double cause of perception
i (3) because of the existence of the object of perception
(4) becuase of the production of a result by previous deeds.
511 the four reasons are based on passages from the
scriptures. Thus the first argument is supported by "a
passage where the Buddha speaks of object in relation to
' the three divisions of time. In case of the second point,
consciousness, when operating, is conditioned by elements
of a double kind* $hat aro they? Ihe sense of vision and

colour for a visual consciousness and so on. In support of

the third case they argue that if there is an object its
recognition can arise; if there is none, neither, can its
cognition be produced.If the past and future were not
'existent, the objects of the corresponding cognition
would be non-existent, and as non-existent, they could not
be cognised. The furth argument is that if the past did
not exist, how could a deed, good or ted, attain, after
some lapse of time, its fruition, since, at the time when
the latter appears, the cause which has produced retribut­
ion is gone. A former deed, good or ted, does exist in reali­
ty, because when it becomes ripe,it produces fruition,jst as

1. trayadhuakaste taduktah dvayat eadvisayat phalat,.

A. K. (R.), P. 138

just as a present one does*

The first argument refers to the word of the Buddha
without mtiKing a distinction between the conventional
truth and the transeendental truth. As regards the second
argument* it may be said that the Buddha has, no doubt,spo­
ken of the ffactional consciousness as the result of the
co-ordination between senses and sense-objects. The^ again,
as the tjjird contention maintains, there are numerous
passages which refer to the relation between senses and
their respective objects. Lastly in speaking of KSamraa the
fhree divisions of time have been taken into consideration.
It must be remembered here that all the points
involved in these arguments refer to matters of the
phenomenal existence and as such when the Buddha spoke of
them he did so from the conventional point of view,
without taking into consideration this most important fact,
the Barmstivadirm have interpreted them to support their
realistic view of things.
It appears from the nature of arguments given
by -than that at first they even accepted the reality of
time. Ibis is evident from the fact that they proved the
existence of objects with reference to the existence of
time. Although they thus put thoir in general terns
yet it was net possible for them to base it on objects
as wo see them and time as we experience it.

1. A.K. (H.), H. 138

Central Conception of Buddhism, FP. 77-78
2. K.?.,l, PP. 116 FP.; A.K, (R.), P. 138
Ibis is also the possible reason why Nagarjuna examines

the reality of time in Madhayamikakarikas nrl

Objects ao we see them are composite ?Jid as such liable
to decay and ttacompeQ-i Mon. Teen againM time ie always
fleeting. So they could riot bo justified as ultimate
principles. Under ouch clrc'g-g te/nces the best thing for
them was to get a»t the basic factors by way of an-lycia
and this fos actually resorted to.
Thus ir the case cf time they accepted ksana or
moment the ultimate factor. According to Abhidhamearibbasaa
-&gtra a day of twenty fern hws ccaoUg-^s sin thousand
four hundred mullion ninety teno thousand nine hundred
and eighty kstfmafi or dements. As for objects, they accepted
para me 073 or the atom as the teste factor* According
to Sorvantivadirc it is the smallest particle which cannot
be analysed further. It cannot be placed anywhere or
trampled or. or seized or attracted* It is neither x long
nor short, neither square. nor round, neither cured nor
straights neither Mrdi nor Ion. It is indivisible,
unanalysable* invisible, inaudible, unstable and intangible.
Both Vsana and paratanu were, terms current in
common usage for the shortest point of time and the smalle­
st particle of matter. After this new Interpretation they
came to assume a technica*! issportancs in the terminology
of the Sarv&stiTrading. Ac unanalysable ba'sic factors it
would not be proper to call them samkhlras aa that conveys
a sense of compositeness,, To exclude them directly from
the category of smskharas would also be too blatantp;

1. Systems of Buddhist Thought* P. 11

2. AbhidharmakosarraMvibhasa. Quoted in S. B. T«,. P, 617

for that would gp against the statement found in the canon,

Under such circumstances they found dkasesa, to he the most
aprrc>pi$te terms for their purpose* Itausa was already used
in Athidhamma for those .categories which were accepted as
terms of reference in explanation cf the phenomenal existe­
nce, For the same reason they were also known as paramattfca
dharsmas, Sarvastivadins took full advantage of this express­
ion and usage* They interpreted it in sen ultimate sense and
called their basic factors th% dhammas* the ultimate prinei-

We have mentioned that in the beginning both moment

and atom were used as concomitant factors* Action is the
characteristic of time. Even ksana, the basic factor of
time,'"has no meaning without this characteristic. In course
of time the association of time with atoms must have auneare A

! to compromise the very position of the la tier. This,no doubt,

! c^reated a very incovenient situation for the Sarvastivadins

' \
and sensed to refute their own theory,. So they deleted it
fro® the list of the paramattha dhammas. Thus although in th€
beginning time played a very important part in fee building
up of their system yet we find it missing from the list of
the ultirn&te principles* But then time, as ksana, had alrepd]
£ ’

become an essential part of t^dr system, Its removal at

this stage would have threatened the whole structure. Stj^hey

identified fee atom with fee moment itsslf.Ksona, as time

coveying the sense of motion, was removed. It was retained
as an atom giving the sens© of static something. Hence the

1. We have already mentioned how the four interpretations of

Sarvastivada referred to by Vasubandhn try to explain
away the time factor. Vide PP. 68-70

Hence the significance of their definition th t what is

; 1
-real and existent is momentary. Here momentary means atomic
and not moving* ThU3 Sarvastivadins carried their moment to
the position of a metaphysical point and identified it with
that of the atom. This doctrine of raementariness amounts to
the introduction of atta in a different disguise. Sarvastivia-
da conceived in general terms in the beginning gave rise to
ksanikavada-' or the doctrine of moraontariness at the end.
Thii3 while undergoing change in form it retained its realis­
tic character from beginning to end.
Criticism of the Position of Sarvastivada

We have shown above that in taking a final position

S&rvastivadins accepted atoms as their ultimate principles^
But when critically ^sisinixr!* ed in the light of the scriptures
defects of the system stood in bold relief.
In the first place, when the Buddha propounded ‘the
doctrine of anicca, he did not leave room for anything
permanent, net even atoms. So the admission of atoms in the
sense of metaphysical points amounted to the virtual accept­
ance of certain entities as such. It can be argued that
|jn£khSras or the conditioned things alone are impermanent.^
Taking ^jikhSras in the gsase of composite things* it nsy be
pleaded that, atoms, being non-composite and as such indiviSr
bele, are not impermanent. Well, this would not save their

1. yeeb sat tat ksanikam, Ksanabhanagasiddhi.

2* sabbe samkhara anicca, Bp. St* 277
3. Of course Sarmstivadins did not |yat this in so many worda
but then it is the logical conclusion that follows from

the position established by them.


Ibis would not save their position** Wim the Buddha chars-
racterised matter, feelings, perceptions, formations and con-
sciousness as irnwermansnt he made a universal application
of it* ISThen this fact was pointed out to the Sarvastivadina
they could net deny it* Aeeredingj.y they had 'to show the
relation of samkhata lakkhanas or the character! stiea cf

the conditioned to the atoms, their ultimate principles*

Sarvastivadins included these characteristics also in the
list of their ultimate dhartnas as go many fore os? More­
over, according to their theory they also coiioid-tute four
different moments* Mow the question tsa % how could ass atom
amounting to one moment bs affected by the ssmftskrita laksa-
nas represented by four moaents?' Series tivadins try to
explain it bv saying that their action is simultaneous*
In siro-'ort of the same they gave the instance of a man bei­
ng simultaneously attadeed by several assassins, one pulli­
ng him out of his hiding place, another seising him end a
third stabbing him* Just in tho sums way, they argue,
several moments perform their respective functions at one

and the gome time with reference to the same object*^

Objection was raised by other Buddhist and non-Buddhist

schools th-t production and destruction could not be
simultaneous*. The atoMe'conception leads to another

1* A. N*5 1, p* 152; S* I*,. Ill, PP-37-38

2. A* K* OU, PP 33, 37
3. It should be remembered in this connection that the Buddha
selected the terns indicating the samskrita laksans from
. th6 popular teminology*H6 employed thorn to indicate the
nature of anjfefeca or impermanehce.The intention of the Buddha
was ic bring homo to tho neople the nature of anicca with the
’ terms already familiar to them.
4. Centml Conception of Buddhism, PP 40-41? Cf.Abhidhamma
• Titfaavini, P* 97 -
5*. MKJ„, PP* 546-547. Sautrantika, a branch of Sarv^ntivada
also criticised their position*
138* .
anomalous position,If they are things existing in themselva
••a how could they be affected by saraskrita laksanas,*
which,according to them,are again things existing in them­
fhere are passages in the Hikayas which state
that all that is sesn,heard,sensed, known,attained,sot^it
after mid tbou^it out are impermanent? As if to get rid
of this objection they defined their anu as invisible,
inaudible, untastable and intangi He .This amounted to
flaying that it is an object of mind.Even then its position
was not safe,for all that is thought out is also imperma­
nent. So they put it down as a natter of Yogic realiza­
Ifcus the atomic theory of ultimate principles
accepted by the S&rsastiradins is beset with so many
difficulties •This was the result of ajxpeing certain
ultimate principles without taking into consideration the
full sigiificanee of the anicca doctrine of the Buddha
which has a universal application andaj such establishes
the unsubstantial nature of all things,
Anicca Itoatrine in the Light of the Nikavas.
We have mentioned that anicca docrine is but th«
a#§tta doctrine in another form.Now let us examine this
statement in the limht of should be borne
in mind that the conception of self implies the existence
of a thing in is something absolute,indepaodent-
and permand&t.lhe Buddha points out that there is nothing

1. svalaksana.
2. S.N.,ilijP.202
3. Yogi pratyaksa.
in the whole phenomenal existence which is not subject to
the law of change. In fact,change is the inherent nature
of things. Hence there is no room for any follows
from this that all tilings are impermanent and as such
unsubstantial .This is the reason why on most occasions
while explaining the anatta nature of things, the Buddha
refers to their anicca Mature also .This may be made (dear
with reference to the Anatfcalakfchana Sutta itself.* In this

discourse the Buddha says that body and other aggregates are
subject to change because they ar9 without self-nature .The
conclusion is that all impermanent things are unsubstantial.
Is such *1* and •mine* representing a permanent ago and
substance cannot be applied to them.
When we say anicca,it must not be taken as some
change here and there is form or is a change
overtaking the supposed substance of things.Channa Sutta
may be given as a case to illustrate this point.Although
Channa inderstood what he thought to be the doctrine of
Anicca yet he was working under the illusion of the belief
in an atta or self.So he felt that there was something
wrong with his understanding of the matter.At last He requested
Ananda to enlighten Mm on the point .Thereupon Ananda
pointed out to him that Ms understanding of the doctrine

of anicca was not correct. With reference to Kacc^novada,

Ananda explained to Mm the unsubstantial nature of thigs.

1. S.N.111.P66
2. S.I., 111, P.132
3. S.N., 11, P.16.In tMs sutta the Buddha explained to KaccSha
his middle doctrine of anatta wMch avoids the two extremes
of eternal ism and niMlism.

Thom only he received light on the natter.

,lllAqgl^r.,Amgt Jafom. pp.fiMng«.
There were some philosophers who believed in the existence
of something in the midst of the flux of things .That they
called atta or soulShus while they accepted change on "Hie
one hand they also maintained the existence of a self oil the
other hand.The Buddha refuted this untenable position of
the philosophers*, According to him those who do not know .
ago as based on the five aggregates^* and the five aggregates
as impermanent believe in the existence of an ago and things
as such.Hence the Buddha used anicca and anatta as
complementary and synonymous terms* This is the reason Shy
in one discourse^ the Buddha explains anicca with reference
to anatta while in another discourse^ anatta is explained

with reference to anicca.Then again the same spiritual

attainment is adovcated throtgh the realization of the
anatta nature of things in one case and the anicca nature
of things in the other case.Thus according to ithis Sutta®
conceit is got rid of by way of anatta doctrine and in**
sutta the same is achieved by way of anicca doctrine.
From the above reasons it is dear that anicca doc­
trine is but anatta doctrine in another form. Hence its
great importance among the teachings of the Buddha.

1. S*H., Ill, Pii05 ( tends)

2. S.N., 111, P.105 (Nadi)
5; S.N., 111,P.66 (padca)
4;S.N«,1119 B.48 (Sona)
5; S.M. iv(tr.) ,F11
6. f?*N. iv(Tr.), P12
It is the lion-roar of the Buddha'** which rouses up

The^Devas from their deep slumber and awakens them to tie

/ /

real state of is this anicca doctrine that the

Buddha tau^it to RahuLa for his final spiritual attain-
? 3
ment. It is also the these of the d eath-bed-sermon
delivered to Yakkali who attained full sainthood soon
after listening to the same .Anicca doctrine suss up the
teachings of the Buddha.^ It puts an end to all defile­

ments ,egoism and ignorance.^ Because of this all

important position of the doctrine the Buddha has

compared it to sandalwood which is chief among the ftnHBag
scented ?ioods, to Jessamine which is chief among the
sweet flowers,to the moon which is chief among the stars
and the universal monarch who is chief among the kings.

We have also mentioned that the law of aniccata

is of universal application .let us understood the exact
meaning of the statement here.lhe conison foimula of the
doctrine is that all the conditioned things are imperma­
nent.^* As such they alone possess the saaikhata


1. S.K.,111, P.86 (Siba)

2. S.N.,iv (tr), P.64 (Bahnla)
3. S.N.,111, P. 119 (Vakkali)
4. S.N., 111,P.77 ( Anicca)
6. S.N„ili,FP. 158-167 (Anicca)
6. sabbe sarafchara anicca
. « •
7. A.H.,1, P.152.
So If we can ascertain the field of action in the ease of
the samkhata lakkhaaas we can also determine the scope of
aniccata.lhiB can he decided with reference to limn da
where the Buddha points out to Inan da that the characteristics
of the conditioned things are available in the case
of the five aggregates. IMs holds good with regard tp all
the five aggregates whether of the past.present or future.^
In fact .according to the Baddha these five aggregates
constitute the whole phenomenal existence. In another
connection the Buddha says all that is seen,heard,sensed,
connection the Baddha says all that is seen.heard,sensed,
known,attained. Sought after and thought out by mind is
impermanent.® Ibis means that the universe of sense-percep­
tion is impermanent.As the phenoraenH existence is the
subject of the intellectual knowledge.this passage supports
the above conclusion.
"This matter can further be understood with referen­
ce to the two categories of samkhata or the conditioned and
asamkhata or the unconditioned.One represents : the phenomenal
existence and the other the ultimate reality of Kibbana.
ttibbana alone is asamkhsta and true in the ultimate sense.
So the doctrine of anicca includes everything within its
scope except Nibbena.

As in all other too the Buddha appeals

to experience.Tfe have explained above that the uninformed
average man of the world (assutava puthujjana)takes a
permanent and substantial view of things and as such when
there is some change in them.he feels sorry for the same.^
TI S.N..111.P.37 iSaanda)
2iS.N.lll, P.38 (Aaanda)
3. S.N.ill. P.202
4. S.N., 111. P.42 (Attadipa)
Ho does not care to s^tudy the nature of this change. He
just takes it as an fteej dent.So, as soon as the effect of
the reaction is over,he fells into the same old mood with
the permanent view of things at fee backgrotmd.Ihe Buddha
points out this fact to the well -info rated nohle disciple
(sutava ariyssavaka) and instructs him to understand the
full significance of this experience .He puts it before him
as a key to the unlocking of the whole problem of dukkha.
He asks him to look,. at the whole world in the light of this
expert ence.fhen this perspective is developed (bhaveti)
and he has gone to the very source and the root of the
matter (yoniso)thon the whole world ae|it is (Yathahhuta)
is revealed to him,^ Vhm this development has reached its

highest pitch* just as the sun dispels darkness,it puts an

end to ignorance and all that thrives upon it.^ Thus the

Buddha supplies the key to the doctrine of aniccata from

experience its elf .Ha only exhorts us to carry on the sjsarch
alcng this line until fee last stage is reached when fee
realisation dawns upon us feat all things are impermanent
and unsubstantial in fisture.ln fact of such a doctrine the
position of Sarvastivadi atoms as real and ultimate
principles cannot be justified. So anicca doctrine als>
supports fee termanairatmyavada«

1. S.N.lll, P.51 (Ivandikkbaya)

2. S.H., 111, P.156 (aniccata)

The present discussion would not "be complete without

taking into consideration the position of dukkha in relation
to anicca and anatta. Both in canonical and exigeticaL
literates almost always these three terms nccur together.
These are the three essential doctrines whose realization
constitutes the attainment of wisdom.As such they are also
known as the three vimokkha mukha^-or the approaches to deliveranct
So far we have seen the relation between anicca and
anatta. In substance they mean one and the same tiling. So the

question before us is: how is dukkha related to these two ?

The Meaning of Dokkha.

Generally dukkha is interpreted as suffering.Whai
is the connection between suffering on the one hand and the
impermanent and the unsubstantial nature of things on the
other hand ? In this connection let us take into consideration
the well-known triple stanzas.^ There is no question about
the first and the third stanzas.They cbarly state that when
one has realized the impermanent and the unsubstantial nature of
the conditioned things one remains unmoved by suffering. In
other words the two stanzas mean that when the impermanent and

1. PatisamTMdimagga, 111 * P.35; T.MJ’.eBS ; IK?.* P.246

2. sabbe samkhara anicca. sabbe samkhara dukkha,.
sabbe dhamma anatta. Ihammapada,Maggavagga, Sfc.Nos.5,6,7

the unsubstantial nature of things is realised ihere is no

reason to be flightened by suffering* According to the second
stanza when one has realised that the conditioned things
involved in suffering are impermanent, then one remains unmoved
by suffering. As generally understood this stanza teaches the
univeral nature of suffering. Taking for granted this accepted
meaning of the stanza, how can the realization that suffering
is a universal fact can give us deliverance from the same ?
Instead of keeping us unmoved such a realization would frighten
us all the more. Evidently this cannot be the correct meaning.
So in order to give the right interpretation of the stanza we
have to study it in a different lig^it.
Eor this purpose we have to study it with reference
to the Buddha’s mission in life.His mission was to teach
the people how to get emancipation from suffering.
Suffering is a given fact.Th© Buddha was out to tackle
that problem for the world. Of course,the Buddha did formulate
the pro bleu in his own way,^ but then his real contribution
lies in the manner of solving it. To the world frightened
with suffering the Buddha delivered the message that their
fear is groundless,for all conditioned thiiggs, which they
take as real, are impermanent and unsubstantial Jjtien the
matter is looked at in this li^it the fhll significance
of the stanza concerned becomes quite clear to us. Here
suffering does not mean either physical or mental pain

1* S.N.,11, Pi 158 (dukfcha)

as generally accepted. The Buddha always used the term
dukkfaa in a wider sense to mean the five aggregates and as
such the whole phenomenal existence.Thus we find the problem
of dukkha stated in terms of aggregates (khandha) in one
1 2
case, in term of mere dukkha in another case and in term
of the world in still another ca3e. So all the three terms
-dukkha, khandha and loka are synonymous. TiShile keeping in
mind this wider meaning of the tern dukkha let us try to
understand the second stanza.We hare already stated that
the Buddha came to the world not to give a message of
suffering hut a message of deliverance from suffering.
Accordingly the meaning of the second standza should he that
if one knows the real nature of suffering then one can
remain unmoved "by it.lhat is to say,if one knows the true
nature of the five aggregates and for that matter of 'the
whole phenomenal existence than one is free from suffering.
Now what is their true nature ? The answer lies in the
first and the third stanzas according to which they are
impermanent and unsubstantial. This amounts to saying that
what we take as suffering is also impermanent and unsubstan­
tial Aen this fact is realised then there is deliverance
from the same.It is in this my that we can understand the
relation of the second stanza to the first and the third.
Really Bpeaking the first and the third stanzas represent
the two approaches to the solution of the problem whereas
the second stanza sums up this solution with reference! to
the problem irself.The two approaches referred to are

1; S.N. iv, (tr.).p.52

2. S.N. iv (tr.),P.53
anicca and anatta. Hhm studied in this light the nightmare
of Buffering disappears. Hsus the true meaning of the second
stanza can he appreciated only in relation to the first end
thfe third, Otherwise ita real significance is lost sig^it of >
say,it definitely leads to gross misinterpretation .ihen
in a certain discourse the Buddha savs that which is
anicca is dukkha and that which is diifckha is anatta it is not
necessary to take them literally in a consecutive order.
What he means to teach us is that dukkha which is another
name for the phenomenal existence is impermanent and unsubs­
tantial. Iri all these cases we have to attach more importance
to the meaning than to the form and style.
iLML-g&Q. is. .
It should be noted here that only a partial view
of the case is available in certain stitias.For instance it
is said in dukMia sutta that attachment is the cause of
suffering and as such with the cessation of attachment
there is an end to suffering,Here there is no reference to
the basis of attachment.For this we have to look to some
other sutta. In the present case we may cite Tissa sutta
where it is said that attachment to khandhas is the c ease
of suffering and with the realization of the impermanent
nature of things there is an end to suffer! ng.Biat does
this mean ? So long as wo are committed to a realistic
view of things,attachmeentvthe cause of suffering,continues
to exist. With the realization of the impermanent and

1. S.H.,111, P.44 (anicca)

2. 8.fL, iv <tr.) , P.52
3. Sifl., Ill, P.106 (Tissa)

the insubstantial nature of things there is an end to the

very basis of attachment *With the cessation of attachment
there is an end to suffsring.Thus,in certain cases,in
order to have a comprehensive view of th© doctrine we have
to take into account severe! euttas dealing with the matter.
This observation applies in the case of the first sermon
also .That is why the Buddha had to supplement it with
Anattalakkfaana sutha.Then only the five thikkhns were
able to appreciate the full doctrine. As ft result they
received li^it and attained full sainthood- It. is only in
this manner that wa can understand dukkha to pave the way for
appanihita vimokkha or deliverance gained as a result of the
absence of any basis for attachment,
Here one might raise the objection that the
interpretation of dukkha offered here seems to explain
away the very existence of dukkha. Well, that may appear
t& one who takes a superficial view of the thing. For the
unenlightened people who take a realistic view of the world
dukkha and all that the empirical existence means is real.
So long as they are under the influence of ignorance dukkha,
as explained in the Mahldukkha-kkhandha and numerous other
Bftttas, does exist S3 a grim reality.Those who are under
ignorance take the world as real and develop attachment towards
it* As a result there is rebirth and all kinds of stiffering
that life is heir to^Biit when, as a result of understanding the
impermanent end the unsubstantial nature of things, the
phenomonaiistic view is gained,than only there is an end to
dukkha.So it should be borne in mind that while dukkha is a
fact of the empirical existence it is not a fact in the ultimat*
If dukkha is real in the ultimate sense then there can he
no cessation of it .This aspect of the matter has been very
well explained by the Madhyamikas.^ It is also in the light-

of and from the view point of realization that the Madfaysrai-

kas have interpreted the four noble truths? fancavimsatisa-
2 3 elucidates
4 fee position.

This interpretation is supported by the Nikayas.

Siha sutta^ may be taken ggfco illustrate feis point. Us

discourse runs as follows:

“whatever recluses or brahmins, brethren,
remember feeir diverse former livas,in so doing all of
them remember fee five factors of grasping,or one or other
of these factors, thus...'' of such and such a body was 1 in
time past., n says he; and so remembering, it is body,breth­
ren, that he thus remembers, I felt feus and thus(,says
he: and in so rataemhoring, it is body, brethren,feat he,
feus remembers. “I felt feus and feus",says he ,and in so
remembering, it is feeling that he remembers. "Thus 1
perceived,® says he, and in so ram Gathering, it is perception
that feus he remembers. "Thus arid thus in activity was IJ say

he,and in thus remembering it is fee activities that he

thus remembers."Thus and feus conscious was I®, says he,
and in so remembering it is consciousness that he remembers.

l*MKT.Chaptsr saiv
2. m.. , P.517
3. Pahcavimsati, PP. 43FP,
4. S .N.t 111, P.89.
. 150.
And why , brethren, do ye say body ? One is affected,
brethren, that is -why the word "body" is used. Affected by
what ? affected by touch of cold and heat, of hunger and
thirst,of gp&tg. and mosquitoes, wind, the sun and the
anakes.On© is affected, brethren,that is why ye say°body".
"tod why,thethren, do ye say "feeling" ?
"One feels, brethren,that is why the word"feelingf
is used.Peals what ? feels pleasure^ and pains,feels neutral
feelings .One feels, brethren, that is why the word^feeling"
is used.
"tod why , brethren, do you sayHperception" ?
"One perceives, brethren,that is wiry the word "
perception"^ used .Perceives what ? perceives blue,greesa,
perceives yellowsor red,or white.
"One p arc elves s brethren, that is why the word
"perception" is used,..
"tod why, brethren,do you sayMthe activities
conditioned ?"
"Because they give rise to the conditioned,that
is why, brethren.the word"act!vies conditioned" is used
tod what condition do they give rise to ?
"It is the condition cf body that they give
rise to,It is the condition of feeLing that they give rise to.
It is the condition of perceiiion that they give rise to.It is
the condition of activities that they give rise to.It is the
condition of consciousness that they give rise to.
"tod why,brethren,do ye say consciousness ?"
"One is conscious,brethren,therefore the word
"consciou3neBsBis used,consciousness of what ? of favour,
sour or bitter,acid or sweet, alkaline or non-alkaline,
saline or non-saline .One is conscious,brethren, that is why
ihe wore#" consciousness" is used.
, 151
"Ihen , brethren, the well-taught Aryan disciple thus
" I am the prey of body now.Xn the past likewise I
was the prey of the body giuet as I em the prey of thi3
present body .Moreover, if in future time I should be enamoured*
of body,in future time also even thus should I be the prey
of bbdy^
"!3nis refleGtdag, he is freed from desire for a past-
body, he is not enamoured of a future body, he is apt for
disgust at the present body,for the turning away from it,
for the ceasing of it.
"(He thus reflects):”-! am the pray of fooling now.
In the past likewise I was the prey of feeling,just as
now I am the prey of -this present feeling* Moreover,If in
future time I should be enamoured of feeling, in future'
time also even thus should I be the prey of feeling,jnst as
I am now the prey of this present feeling.”
“Thus Reflecting,he is freed from desire for
.feeling of -fee past.,he is not enamoured of theSiture feeling;
he is apt for disgust at present feeling, for turning away
from it, for the ceasing from it.
So also with perception,the activities and
"that think ye, brethren” is body permanent or
impermanent *?«
"Impermanent, Lord."
"And what is impermanent, is that woe or weal ?
"foe, Lord."
"Then what is impermanent,woeful,unstable in

nature -is i^ proper to regard that as :

"Ms is sine,this mi I,This is the self of me ?* .
* Surely not. Lord.*'
■ Hie same is said of the other factors.
"Therefore, brethren, everybody,be it past,present, or
future, be it inward or outward, gross or subtle, low or
high, far or near,- X say ovary body should be regarded as
it really is, by right insight.
nHe, brethren, is reckoned an ariyan disciple who
reduces,heaps not up, who abandons, grasps not,who scatters,
binds not,who quench as, kindles not.
"And what does be reduce and not heap us ?He appast
spreads abroad body, heaps it not up. He reduces feeling,
perception the activities,consciousness,heaps them not up.
.And what does he , breteren, abandon and not grasp ?He
abandons body, and grasps it not.Iie abandons feeling,
perception,the aetivities,consciousness, and grasps them not*
"And what does he scatter and not gather ? n
pEe scatters body and gathers it not .He scatters
feeling, perception, activities,consciousness,and gathers
them not.”
"And what does he quench and not kindle ?"
“He quenches body and kindles it not.He quenches feeliig
perception,activities, consciousness and does not kindle
nSo seeing, brethren,the well-tau$it, Aryan disciple
remains unmoved by the (concepiion)of body,feeling,perception,
activities and consciousness .Being thus unmoved he is
detached from them; being detached he is released,by that
detachment he is released,$y that release he is set free;
then the knowledge ^arises in Mm, "destroyed is rebirth.
155 . .
i .
lived it? lie ri^ieous life, done is the task, for life in
these conditions there is no hereafter*"
"He,brethren, is reckoned a brother who neither
heaps ttp nor reduces,Having reduced,he stands neither .
abandoning nor grasping. Having abandoned, he stands
neither scattering nor gathering. Having scattered he
stands neither quenching nor kindling.
"Having quenehed#whai is it that he neither
heaps up nor reduces ? Having reduced it is body that he
stands neither heading up nor reducing .Having reduced,it ia
is feeling,perception, activities and consciousness that
he stands neither heaping up nor reducing.
"Having reduced,what is it that he stands
neither abandoning nor grasping ? Having abandoned it is
body that he Btanda neither abandoning nor grasping,!t is
feeling, perception, activities, concsciousness that he
stands neither quenching nor kindling ?
"Brethren,it is even such a brother whose heaijd
s ' : a,
ip set free,whom the Devas........Brahms from aftpr do rever­
Here in the f irst place,the Buddha gives a
description of the five aggregates as based on the
analysis of the common experience of the people. The well-
instructed ariyan disciple who is not yet quite free from
ignorance thinks that he has been bothered by them all the
time* Gradually the realisation comes to him that the
aggregates which he took as the 3ouree of botheration are
impermanent and unsubstantial and as such dcjnot exist as